Sermons

Summary: Message about Jesus’ attitude toward children and the child-like.

Jesus Likes Kids!

Matthew 19:13-15

January 27, 2008

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Me: You know, I kinda like kids. In fact, I love kids – at least certain ones.

I think kids are a good idea – especially since I used to be one.

I think God thinks kids are a good idea – after all, He invented them, right? It was His idea in the first place – way back in the garden, He told them to be fruitful and multiply. And I don’t think He was saying, “grow apples and do math.” He was saying, “have kids.”

By the way, just before I get any farther – I say, “kids,” not “children.” I know that some people don’t like that.

“They’re not baby goats!” they say. And I understand that. I’m not calling them goats. I’m simply using the term that I grew up using and grew up hearing, and is a generally accepted term for those young offspring you call children.

To me, “children” just seems too academic and stuffy when I say it. So I’ll stick with “kids” most of the time.

But anyway – I like kids.

We: I think all of us would say we like kids. Maybe they’re our own kids, or maybe they belong to the neighbors or to some relative or friend.

It could be that some of you like kids only for making you thankful that you don’t have any of your own!

Others would like kids but are unable to. And it breaks their hearts.

Children can bring a smile to people in a hurry – they can liven up a room just by walking in.

They’re funny just because they’re so ignorant of everyone’s expectations of them.

If kids weren’t so enjoyable and lovable, then why are they used so much in TV commercials?

There’s nothing like watching a serious TV show and then a commercial comes on with some kid singing, “I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner…” Right? Right!

Most people like kids. Most people aren’t like Dennis the Menace’s neighbor, Mr. Wilson, who just can’t seem to see anything likeable in little Dennis.

Most people like kids.

God: The Bible tells us that Jesus likes kids.

Matthew 19:13-15

13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

I want to give you the point of this passage right up front, because I want to spend the majority of our time showing how it works out in our lives.

So here’s the key idea of these three verses:

We are the gateway to Jesus for our children.

And I’m not just talking about those children in our household.

I’m talking about all the children we have the chance to influence, whether you’re a mom or dad, aunt or uncle, teacher, family friend, or whatever.

Grown-ups have the power to either bring children to Jesus or keep them from Him.

We are the gateway to Jesus for our children.

This is an extremely important concept for you and me to grasp. The power we have to influence the young’uns around us is tremendous.

Next week we’re going to look at some specific ways from this passage that will help us be like Jesus to kids, but today I want us to look at this hugely important idea of how we influence our kids for Christ.

Two commands here: “Let them come to Me,” and “Don’t get in their way.

Let’s look at these a little bit and see just how these play out in our day and age.

The first command is…

1. “Let them come to Me.”

How do we do that?

> Bring them to church and Wednesday night activities.

Notice I didn’t say, “Take them to church and drop them off.”

I said “bring them.” This means that you come with them.

On Sundays this doesn’t seem to be much of a problem with those who attend here.

But on Wednesday nights, we have a number of kiddos who show up, but mom and dad won’t bring them to church on Sundays.

It could be that they’re exhausted after a long week at work, or because Sunday may be the only day they get to sleep in, or maybe they work on Sundays.

There are lots of reasons people will bring their kids to church activities but won’t come here as a family.

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